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A new Word of the Year seizes its place?

The most striking thing about one of this year's leading contenders for Word of the Year may be how straightforward it is.

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Here we are, still polishing off Thanksgiving leftovers, and already it's time to pick a Word, or Words, of the Year.

What kind of Words of the Year do we want? A blog at Dictionary.com, "The Hot Word," noted that the online reference polled its Facebook audience to find out: "Overwhelmingly, voters said it should be a complex word that exemplifies the spirit of 2011."

A strong contender at this point: , from the "Occupy Wall Street" movement and its related Occupy [Your Place Here] offshoots.

In an "On the Media" interview, Ben Zimmer, head of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society, said: "is this extremely useful word for the movement because as it spread[s] to other cities, it can very easily just work as a kind of a template. Occupy blank, Occupy the-name-of-your-town-here...."

The most striking thing about is how straightforward it is. It's an actual word that's already in all the dictionaries, and it's made its name this year in a usage that goes back centuries. Compare, by contrast, , the New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2009.

, meaning "to take possession of," goes back to the mid-14th century, ultimately from the Latin , where it meant essentially the same thing, but with a more forceful sense of "grasp" or "seize." That's the meaning of the Latin word , from which it derives. (It's also related to , "to understand" or "to 'get' " something – ?)

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